and Liz Diller
March Pantry, San Francisco
Sam Hamilton, alumni of Ralph Lauren and owner of home decor shop March in San Francisco, has decided to shift focus from furniture to that of cooking, dining and entertaining as a way of capturing the city’s burgeoning food scene. A cleverly curated mix of antiques and vintage pieces are displayed alongside contemporary collections including pottery from Victoria Morris, tableware from Brickett Davda, hand-carved spoons from Blackcreek Mercantile & Trading Co and pots from Brooklyn Copper Cookware. In addition, her own label March Pantry, in well-executed packaging by studio Design is Play, features kosher salt, jams, vinegars and spices from small independent producers.
3075 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, CA; Tel: 1.415 931 7433; marchsf.com
Writer: Micha van Dinther
Absolut Vodka is pushing its limited edition concept to a new extreme with Absolut Unique. Producing four million uniquely designed and individually numbered bottles, the vodka brand transformed its bottle factory into an artist’s studio complete with splash guns and colour-generating machines, ensuring that each bottle is a-one-of-a-kind work of art. To achieve this carefully orchestrated randomness, Absolut re-engineered its entire production line, combining human and mechanical elements with a complex series of pattern and placement algorithms, along with 38 different colours and 51 patterns to guarantee that no two bottles are the same. Professor Mattias Elg from the Linköping University in Sweden calculated that there would be 94 quantillian bottles before two similar ones would appear.
Writer: Georgios Chiotis
Atelier Hapax for La Maison du Chocolat
Take a few chocolate boxes, a pair of scissors and a lot of talent… and you’ll get an original, one of a kind chess set handcrafted for La Maison du Chocolat by Sinan Sigic. A former head of production and creative sourcing for Maison Martin Margiela, Sigic founded Atelier Hapax a few seasons ago to turn packaging and ribbons into ingenious objects such as bags, bracelets, lamps and penholders. Using singular techniques like embroidery, origami, kigami or intricate weaving, Sigic is presently working on extensive window displays for La Maison du Chocolat that will be showcased in 11 boutiques worldwide from Tokyo and Hong Kong, to New York’s Rockfeller and London’s Picadilly stores.
Writer: Marie Le Fort
The Swedish province of Jämtland is a somewhat unlikely foodie destination – not due to lack of produce from its larder-like forests, waterways and mountains, but because of its somewhat isolated location. Leading its culinary development, however, is Fäviken Magasinet, a restaurant housed on a remote farm, seating only 12 guests per night. Phaidon’s new book Fäviken describes chef Magnus Nilsson’s fascinating journey in the creation of a nearly self-sufficient restaurant, where ingredients are sourced, cooked and preserved in the immediate vicinity of the farm. A hundred recipes, from elementary instructions for bread porridge to elaborate, step-by-step guidance for signature dishes such as 'vegetables cooked with autumn leaves and black grouse', are featured in the book.
Since time immemorial, sap has been drawn from the black and white trunks of the silver birch trees surrounding lake Storsjön in central Sweden. The precious, syrupy drops were extracted from the tree stem in an entirely harmless fashion, and thereafter sipped to welcome spring as well as aid the recovery of various physical afflictions. Whether or not the Sav snaps, a new akvavit based on a recipe from 1785 and recreated by Swedish eco engineer Peter Mosten, has these same life inducing properties, cannot be certified. All we know is that a small dose of this wonderfully refreshing snaps with a taste slightly resembling that of vermouth is bound to lift the spirit.
The expression that good things come in small packages seems to be true, at least for tiny personal environment monitor Lapka. The smartly designed, life-enhancing gadget measures 76 by 57 millimetres. Aside from collecting and analyzing hidden qualities of the surroundings such as radiation, electromagnetic pollution and humidity, our favourite feature is that of the detection of foreign substances and chemical content in foods and drinking water. By inserting a stainless steel probe into raw produce, traces of synthetic fertilizers are visualized on your phone, and will confirm if your food is indeed organic. Creative director Vadik Marmeladov of Lapka Electronics says the four-in-one device will be in stores come December.
Movement Café, London
Built in just 16 days, the Movement café is a public art collaboration between designer and artist Morag Myerscough and Olympic poet and prolific tweeter Lemn Sissay, and is part of an ambitious mixed-use scheme aiming to turn the former Greenwich industrial estate into a vibrant new community. Commissioned by property development company the Cathedral Group, the pop-up café occupies an amphitheatre-like space 2m below street level, created after the demolition of the previous site. The façade is formed from wood, emblazoned with oversized type, while inside, an eclectic mix of furniture co-constructed with Luke Morgan, has been fashioned from reclaimed laboratory surfaces, and the tweet that inspired the café design is translated onto a range of hand-sewn cushions in vivid colours. The café hosts regular storytelling events and acoustic sessions, and will be showing short films as part of the Future Shorts Film Festival on the 14 October.
Q-pot Cafe, Harajuku
Japanese jewellery brand Q-pot, with designer Tadaaki Wakamatsu at the helm, has often used various sweets and pastries as inspiration for its lifelike 'positive accessories'. Frustrated by the previous complications in getting hold of these mouth-watering pieces, we were particularly pleased to hear about the opening of the first Q-pot Cafe in Harajuku. Edible jewellery in the shape of cupcakes, macaroons and chocolate pralines are served up on plates with Fornasetti style illustrations. The café boasts nine individually designed parlours, including the secret Q Room taking reservations now. A curious detail in the sugar sweet surrounding is the shape of a tooth that recurs in chairs and mirrors throughout the interior, as if to remind sweet tooths of impending cavities.
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